Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, National President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), has lauded the Federal Government’s commitment to boosting rice production across the country.
Goronyo told journalists during an interactive session in Sokoto on Saturday that rice cultivation in Nigeria had recorded tremendous success.
“Before 2015, a small holder farmer was doing the business sympathetically, but today, with the current policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, we have seen a lot of changes.
“In the previous period, a small holder farmer usually travel to some parts of the country for menial jobs three to four months before the season to get money for cultivation.
” Those that cannot travel engage in local rearing to sell and raise money for their seasonal cultivation.
“But with President Buhari’s administration from 2015, all those challenges of suffering by our farmers has become history,” he said.
He said with the present administration, small holder farmer do not even require bank loan to cultivate his farm.
“This is because through this association, we identify him, map his farm, take the biometric data and provide all the necessary implements required to cultivate his farm.
“This support ranges from seeds, fertilizer, water pump, insecticide, herbicide, threshing, harvester, transportation, bags and even the market at the door of the farms,” Goronyo said.
The RIFAN national president also said that before 2015, a farmer harvest a maximum of 2.5 metric tonnes per hectare.
“But with the present support by the FG through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a farmer cultivates five to six metric tonnes, up to seven metric tonnes and some even to nine metric tonnes per hectare,” he said.
Goronyo further stated that, rice production in Nigeria had hit annual production of over 8 million metric tonnes for local consumption and export.
“According to the data we have, every day Nigerians consume N1 billion rice and as per estimation, we consume between 7 to 7.5 million metric tonnes per annum.
“And that is to say since 2015 when the President stopped rice importation, all the rice consumed in Nigeria is being produced here locally, ” he added.
He disclosed that the association was collaborating with the government and some companies to reduce the cost of production aimed at crashing the price of local rice in the market.
Goronyo commended efforts of companies and agencies working toward ensuring global standard and self-sufficiency in rice production in the country.